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Radiation Physicist and Therapists Are Hired


Aug. 18, 2005, St. Thomas – According to a release from the Schneider Regional Medical Center three new employees have been hired to work at the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute: Charles Chipley as radiation physicist, Katherine Barger as radiation therapist, and Patricia Cornish as dosimetrist.
"We are very pleased to have these three professionals join our growing cancer care team," said Renee Adams, administrative director of the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute. "Schneider Regional is dedicated to bringing in the best people and the best equipment in order to make the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute a first-class cancer center," she added.
Charles L. Chipley III, MS, DABR, is a board-certified clinical medical physicist with more than 17 years experience in clinical radiology. He has worked at several cancer centers in the United States, including Boca Raton Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wellington Regional Medical Center and Broward General Medical Center, all in Florida. He will supervise all radiation equipment at the institute, due to open this November.
"I am very pleased to be in the Virgin Islands, which I fell in love with when I served in the U.S. Navy. I liked the lifestyle and of course the weather. I never thought I would actually get a chance to work in paradise, but it was an opportunity I could not pass up when this job became available," Chipley said. "The fact that it is a brand new cancer center which Schneider Regional Medical Center is devoting major resources to, was also instrumental in my decision to move here," he added.
Chipley said his job would involve several aspects of radiation treatment: regulatory compliance, safety requirements, equipment selection and acceptance, and medical application of radioactive materials.
Patricia Cornish, recently from Colorado, will be the cancer institute's medical dosimetrist. A dosimetrist, under the supervision of a physicist, performs work involving the measurement and calculation of radiation doses. Cornish comes to the Virgin Islands from Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, where she was senior dosimetrist/junior physicist. She received her certificate in radiation therapy from the Community College of Denver. She was board-certified in 1998, and in 2004, she received the National Outstanding Achievement Award in Radiation Oncology from USOncology.
"I'm excited to be a part of a brand new cancer center because this area needs it so much," Cornish said. "I think it's going to be a wonderful facility with the best equipment available," she said.
Katherine Barger comes from West Virginia where she worked as a radiation therapist for Davis Memorial Hospital Cancer Care Center. She received her training at West Virginia University Hospitals and is certified as a radiation therapist and radiological technologist.
She administers the radiation dosage to the patient, using 3-D simulation, planning computers, a specific treatment plan and the radiation prescription as determined by the radiation oncologist.
Barger is impressed with the construction progress at the cancer institute and the technology needed to treat cancer patients. "The linear accelerator (used to create the x-ray treatment beams) is top-of-the-line," she said. She joins a second radiation therapist hired by the center, Linda Baptiste, who is a native of St. Thomas.
When completed in November, the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute will offer the most sophisticated forms of conventional medicines, as well as complementary therapies to cancer patients from V.I. and the Eastern Caribbean. Besides radiation, the facility will offer chemotherapy, surgery, clinical research and other support services.


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